Not even a car crash could keep Brian Dudley and Andrew Knapp, Denair tennis' number one and two singles players, from seeking retribution against league juggernauts Ripon Christian on Friday. The two Coyote players were involved in a head-on collision on their way to the match, but still managed to make it to the courts where they won their matches in the 7-2 effort over the Knights.
RC defeated the Coyotes, 5-4, in the teams' previous Southern Athletic League meeting. This time, however, Bill Weber and company brought their game to a whole different level to top RC for the first time in school history.
“Today, the kids believed they could win. It's a good day for Denair,” said Weber. “Luckily, Dudley and Knapp were okay... They will be sore tomorrow.”
Not only did Denair break a drought that daunted the school's tennis program for years, but the team also handed RC their first loss of the year as they are 7-1 after leaving the Coyotes home courts on Friday. Denair is now 6-2 in the SAL.
“The better thing is we beat Ripon Christian and we've never done it before, their the toughest competition,” said Weber.
The Coyotes are now in the running for league title but must win out the season, starting Tuesday when they take on Delhi, a team they've already lost to once this year.
Dudley and Knapp both won their matches in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-2, over RC's Kendal Darling and Nick VanVliet.
Denair's number one singles on the girls side, Abby Wilson, was able to top RC's Lauren Herbert, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
This was the longest match of the afternoon, which lasted over two and a half hours.
Denair's number two girls singles player Kaelee Martinez fell to Mariah Alger of RC, but the mixed doubles team for Denair in Robert Williams and Wanda Elliot topped Carley Easthan and Josh Tatoon, 6-4, 6-2.
Three out of the four doubles teams captured wins for Denair as they capped off a dominating performance in a very unique day Weber said.
“I am excited for the players, all year we been having fun and working towards this and we overcame it as a team,” Weber said. “We are a team in every sense of the word.”
Denair will host Delhi at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.